The vision of the NCCO is to act as a “one-stop-shop” to connect state, federal, and private interests with services, programs, training and testing capabilities that will serve the U.S. armed forces and government agencies at all levels.
“I’m certain I speak for those I’ll be representing alongside, although this is a unique opportunity to serve, it is humbling to know the work we might accomplish together could both advance economic opportunities for our state and help promote new defense opportunities for our men and women serving our great nation,” states Rachel Leslie. “Each of us brings a distinct perspective, and I look forward to working with people who love Indiana and our military.”
Other Indiana leaders appointed include Vice Admiral Mike Bucchi, of Bloomington; Bill Smith, of Madison County; John T. Thompson, of Indianapolis; and Omer Clifton “Clif” Tooley, Jr., of Bargersville.
Leslie holds a Master of Leadership Development degree from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and a bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication Public Relations and Journalism from Indiana State University. She is a graduate of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce Executive Association Chamber University, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute of Organizational Management, and the Indiana Leadership Forum. As an experienced collaborator, Leslie advocates on behalf of her clients at her advocacy firm, RJL Solutions. She strategically brings state and federal relationships and unique resources to West Central Indiana while also working to educate on specific issues and promote public/private partnerships.
Through Leslie’s work in the Chamber of Commerce profession, higher education, government relations and various community board and development initiatives, she has a broad scope of understanding on how various industries and both private and public sectors can collaborate for maximum results. She founded the Terre Haute Young Leaders, co-founded the Wabash Valley Leadership Institute and worked behind the scenes on many community development initiatives such as Terre Haute’s recognition as “Community of the Year” named by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. She served on the Wabash Region Regional Cities team, which resulted in some important financial wins for West Central Indiana.
In her time at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, Leslie sought to strategically expand the footprint of the College from a regional, state and federal perspective, thereby implementing an external relations office. Leslie led that effort at the cabinet level as vice president of external relations. The office included grants development, auxiliary revenue, noncredit programs, community and government relations. Leslie was an instrumental part of this outreach through grant acquisition, policy changes, navigation of higher education regulations, and development of strategic academic programs.
Leslie has been honored by various leadership organizations for her accomplishments in business growth strategies, community development and strategic collaboration. She was named one of the top Chamber professionals under 40 by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives, a Rising Star by Junior Achievement of the Wabash Valley, a Graduate of the Last Decade by the Indiana State University Alumni Association, an Athena International Honoree, a Paul Harris Fellow, and most recently a recipient of the Top 12 Under 40 in the Wabash Valley.